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Granny’s German Spaetzle is an authentic spaetzle recipe passed down in a German family for generations. Make it with or without a spaetzle maker. 

This recipe comes from my Granny. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Germany and this is the recipe they brought with them. Spaetzle is a small, soft dumpling/pasta that originates in the regions of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland.

What do I do with spaetzle noodles?

Spaetzle noodles can be dressed up just like any other pasta with sauces and additional ingredients, or it can be served plain or sautéed in a little bit of butter. It’s a versatile little dumpling that can be as fancy or as simple as you’d like.

Spaetzle in a white bowl.

What is a spaetzle maker?

A spaetzle maker is a convenient device usually made of metal that’s sole purpose is for the making of small dumplings known as spaetzle. The metal plate has holes in it that you pour your spaetzle batter through directly into boiling water. You can find an abundance of spaetzle makers on Amazon. While convenient, you can use alternative devices for making spaetzle that you probably already have in your kitchen.

How do I make spaetzle without a spaetzle maker?

Absolutely! All you need is a metal kitchen device with holes in it. A colander or cheese grater plane will work great. Just hold the device over a pot of boiling water and pour your batter through. Sometimes it helps to use the back of a spoon or ladle to help push the batter through the holes.

German Spaetzle served up on a white plate.

What do I serve with spaetzle?

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Spaetzle in a stainless steel frying pan.
Granny's German Spaetzle is an authentic spaetzle recipe passed down in a German family for generations. Make it with or without a spaetzle maker.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk maybe less
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, parsley, and nutmeg.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs.
  • Alternate between stirring in beaten eggs and milk to the flour mixture until you have a smooth batter. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Meanwhile bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Pour spaetzle dough through a spaetzle maker or colander directly into the boiling water so that small, elongated drops fall in.
  • Boil until spaetzle rises to the top. Use a slotted spoon to remove spaetzle from water.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place drained spaetzle directly into butter and fry 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with more minced parsley.


Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.7mg
Cuisine: German
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June 23, 2019 5:06 pm

I put my spaetzel batter onto my pizza pan (that’s sitting on the pot of boiling liquid)and use a rubber spatula to press it through the holes.

Ruth Neu
March 3, 2020 5:22 pm

4 stars
Hi I have not tried your recipe, although I have no doubt it is good. I am from Germany (Swabia where spaetzle originated) and the original recipe doesn’t call for milk. I make my spaetzle with a small amount of water and eggs only.
I think you are an excellent cook, and I watch you often. Love how you make everything you cook look so easy!

M. McCarthy
January 31, 2020 6:22 pm

4 stars
My grandmother mixed these with Sautéed cabbage seasoned with onion, salt, pepper and caraway seed. Fabulous!!

Mary L Bowers
March 3, 2020 4:02 pm
Reply to  M. McCarthy

This sounds alot like helushki the Polish dish with pasta, cabbage, onions and garlic…

Chris Evola
March 19, 2018 1:25 pm

5 stars
Wrong pronunciation…
LUH on the end, not LEE

Recipe is much like my Schwäbisch grandma, but she didn’t use a fancy tool or colander.
She just tipped the bowl and sliced the dough off the side into the water.


December 7, 2018 11:23 pm
Reply to  Chris Evola

My grandma from Austria did the same. The number of eggs and amount of water is dependent on the number of mouths to feed. 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon salt (approximately, never measure). 1 cup of hot water from the boiling pot stirred into the egg ( the salt stops the egg from cooking), then just scoop in all purpose flour. Stir briskly. Enough flour has been added when folding the batter with a spoon creates a bubble that pops. Until 1990 we cut the dough off the efge of the mixing bowl into rje nooling water, very tedious,… Read more »

Sharon G Daniels
June 22, 2019 3:35 pm
Reply to  Chris Evola

My mother comes from Germany/is German and she said just like in the South(I’m from southeast Georgia) or anywhere else in the country depending on what part of Germany or thereabouts you was from to the pronunciation of things..
so some pronouncing it different is the right way from wherever they was raised..?

Ernest Martin Hauswurz
June 27, 2019 9:59 am

Spaetzli has been passed down through my German family also.
We had spaetzli with a bone in pork chop, a bed of spaetzli next to it and then a layer of sauerkraut over each. The saurkraut gives a tangy flavor to the pork chop and the spaetzli!
Make for a yummy meal. Never any gravy.
My family, which was German born with the great grandparents always pronounced it spetzlee.
Everyone says we mis-pronounce it, but that is how it was said in our family.
Try it our way and enjoy some tangy pork chop and spaetzli !!

April 15, 2020 2:07 pm

5 stars
I have been making spaetzle sporadically for years. This is by far the best recipe I have used. Your instructions for making the spaetzle really helped me. I used my box cheese grater lid and the back of a ladle like you suggested. It was the easiest and least messy experience I have had. I had a bowl and a slotted ladle near the pot to scoop the cooked noodles into. I am so happy that I can make spaetzle anytime I want now.

July 22, 2018 7:33 pm

5 stars
My German/Irish grandmother made spaetzle all the time but just scraped small teaspoons off into the boiling water. A great side dish with pork chops. She pronouned it “spetz-u-lah”. The colandar method was tedious, but made beautiful spirals; I just scrape small bits into the water. I added the fresh, chopped parsley and nutmeg, but did not notice much taste difference. Our recipe used 2 less eggs, but I have seen up to 8 eggs used. Sauteed in butter and onions with parsley, it is delish. I loved the video showing how to make it.

Karen Shephard Nichols Messer
August 31, 2020 2:53 pm

I can’t wait to try this. Can you add more German recipes. My grandma and Grandpa were German. When my Grandma passed her recipe book came up missing. Very sad. I would love to see more of your grandma’s recipes because this sounds like my grandma’s spaetzle. Thank you!

July 29, 2018 1:58 pm

5 stars
Nice, recipe and comments. Grandma didn’t use parsley or nutmeg sounds like a good addition. Fried onions in butter a must.Been making it for many years using the spaetzle press. Also Great grandma, both from Stuttgart early ’20’s, seemed to be a labor of love their biggest complaint was the effort needed beating of the dough. Could not locate their recipe, similar ingredients but method different. Next morning always a treat fried spaetzle and eggs.

February 3, 2019 1:49 pm
Reply to  John

5 stars
try frying the leftover spaetzle in butter, then mix with cottage cheese, more butter, and lots of flaky salt. i do this with bowtie pasta, but i think spaetzle would be nice with this.

July 6, 2019 1:01 am
Reply to  John

The idea of leftover spaetzle with eggs for breakfast is GENIUS, John! Is there any particular style of eggs you recommend? I was thinking of mixing with scrambled eggs or possibly frying a little finely diced sweet onion in butter, adding and frying the spaetzle, scrambling the egg whites until still moist the stirring in the yolks to combine and heat through before serving immediately.

Pauline M Aldrich
September 2, 2019 1:51 pm

5 stars
plan on doing this today I think it would go great with my chicken and dumpling recipe too

Pauline M Aldrich
September 5, 2019 7:26 pm

OK tried it in my chic and dumplings left out the nutmeg and added pepper, it made a very nice thick soup but they pretty much dissolved most of it but all in all it was very good, will the nutmeg version next but will stick to regular dumplings, love your show I get so many wonderful ideas thank you POLLY

Angelia Schubert
July 3, 2018 8:54 pm

5 stars
I learned how to make this by watching my mother-in-law. I use a cookie press to make mine. My guys love them with brown gravy on them.

Lorraine Pollachek
July 6, 2019 1:17 am

Where were you when I was buying a spaetzle maker? I have two Super Shooters from the 80’s. One belonoed to my late mother. One was electric and one was battery operated. I was famous back then for giving out at Christmas time butter spritz cookies with candied cherry centers. I would lay out all the cookie sheets Mom and I owned and press 35 dozen cookies in 7 minutes. Now, reading your comment about the cookie press, I wonder why it never occurred to me. And now that I think about it, I could just scoop the spaetzle batter… Read more »

November 9, 2020 7:19 pm

Cookie press! Brilliant! Thank you!

June 27, 2018 7:05 pm

Can these be made ahead and fried when you serve them?

March 6, 2019 3:08 am
Reply to  Pam

Yes you can,,, my mom and I would always make a triple batch and after they would float to the top of water we had a skillet with melted butter in it and would cry out then,,, then we would freeze it and when we would want some all we had to do is take out the amount we wanted and fried it or whatever we was going to use it in!!!

Ann K
December 27, 2020 11:49 am

I was always reluctant to make spaetzle because I don’t have a spaetzle maker and it seemed messy, but I used the back of a coarse Microplane grater, which perched perfectly on the side of the pot of boiling water, and it was so easy and not messy at all. The spaetzle were light and fluffy and just as good as the ones from my favorite German restaurant. Thank you for the inspiration and recipe – I’ll be making these often!

December 17, 2020 10:00 pm

After years of making spaetzle, I have found it is much easier to boil the spaetzle ahead of time, even the day before. Refrigeratorate it. Then, just before serving, sauté it in the butter. The cold spaetzle is less likely to stick to the pan, and will sauté nicely.

September 16, 2020 8:24 pm

Oh my German grandma would make these I can’t wait to make this.

October 27, 2019 5:44 pm

5 stars
Thank you so much!!! My grandma was german and made this often. Can’t wait to try it.

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